From News Services
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
President Obama on Monday announced his selection of Ron Bloom as senior counselor for manufacturing policy.
Speaking at an AFL-CIO picnic in Cincinnati, the president introduced Bloom, who has been a senior adviser to Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner as part of the auto industry task force since February. Bloom, a Harvard Business School graduate, previously advised the United Steelworkers union and worked as an investment banker.
"As my new point person on manufacturing, he's going to help us craft the policies that will create the next generation of great manufacturing jobs and ensure American competitiveness in the 21st century," Obama said.
Bloom will work with the National Economic Council to develop and plan policy for Obama's efforts to revitalize U.S. manufacturing, the White House said. He will retain his position on the auto task force.
The U.S. manufacturing industry has lost hundreds of thousands of jobs in recent years to overseas competition as some U.S. businesses have relocated abroad to take advantage of cheaper labor. Bringing an invigorated manufacturing base back to the United States was a campaign pledge Obama made last year.
Bloom will be charged with reviewing U.S. competitiveness in the global economy. His job will include coordinating with the departments of Commerce, Treasury, Energy and Labor to integrate current programs with new initiatives.
Bloom's appointment follows news that the U.S. manufacturing sector had expanded for the first time in 18 months and had the highest monthly output in two years.
"It's a sign that we're on the right track to economic recovery, but that we still have a long way to go," Obama said in the announcement, issued Sunday.
Bloom said in the statement that a strong manufacturing sector is a cornerstone of American competitiveness.
"As we meet the challenges of globalization and technological change, it is vital to have a concerted effort across the administration to support an innovative, vibrant manufacturing sector," Bloom said.
Prior to joining the Obama administration, Bloom was a special assistant to the president of the United Steelworkers. His responsibilities included the union's collective bargaining program.
Before joining the Steelworkers, Bloom was one of the founding partners of Keilin and Bloom, an investment banking firm, where he was involved in numerous transactions on behalf of the Steelworkers, United Auto Workers, Teamsters, Air Line Pilots Association and other unions.